2005 Ridge Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains Santa Cruz Mountain Estate

01242009One of the best wines I’ve had in the last few years is… *gasp*.. a California Chardonnay. This wine. I was lucky enough to have tasted it a while ago and loved it then. It just blew me away with its layers of flavours and finish that lasted a week. So, when I had the chance to grab a bottle, I was all over it. Graham was there as well and grabbed one of his own (there were only a couple of bottles left).

Well, after Graham opened his a week or so ago, I was thinking it was time to pop the cork on my bottle. Tonight was the night.

Last year, the Wine Dictator named it their #2 wine for 2007 and rated it at 95 points. That’s some pedigree. 100% of the grapes come from Ridge’s vineyards in the mountains near Santa Cruz, South of San Francisco.

It carries 14.6% booze, but couldn’t be much more in tune. There’s no heat to it, just an incredibly balanced bunch of fruit and mineral.

What do I think? Well, it’s just as good, if not better than I remember it being. In the glass, it’s a golden yellow – it looks like apple juice. Initially, the nose is all about the hazelnuts… and then has honey and an earthy minerality to it. Flavours of candied pineapple, figs, almonds, honey and mineral-edged hazelnuts dominate. It’s amazing in its complexity and length. Its finish lasts minutes. If all Chardonnay tasted this good, I’d probably never drink anything else. It’s incredibly sexy in that “I would marry you”, sort of way. This is a wine you want to spend some time with.

This is seriously good stuff. Amazing, actually. Wow.

~$50 when I bought it at a BC LDB store.

4 1/2 stars